Legal Question in Family Law in California

I am unmarried mother in calif do i have full custody of my baby and does it make a difference if we live together but are not married? And if I do have full custody am I able to move out of state with my little one without the fathers consent

Asked on 9/23/22, 12:23 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

In the absence of a court order, neither of you have "custody." Whether he has parental rights depends on whether you had him made the father on the birth paperwork. If not, he has no parental rights unless and until he files for paternity. Regardless of whether he has parental rights, in the absence of a custody order (or the automatic restraining order that goes into effect upon filing a paternity or custody case) you are free to move out of state with your child. BUT and it's a BIG BUT, California will retain jurisdiction over the child for six months. Within those six months, he can file for paternity/custody and the court can and will order the child returned to California pending the outcome of the proceedings. And that California order will be enforced by every other state in the U.S. and most foreign countries. If he is the legal father on the birth paperwork, it can also be considered against you if you move out of state without making arrangements for custody and visitation with him. So the safer course, if he is the legal father of record, is to file a custody and support case before you move and obtain consent of the court to move if he won't agree.

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Answered on 9/23/22, 2:06 pm

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